Aoki Seminar Fall 2019 - Meera E Deo - Unequal Profession: Race & Gender in Legal Academia" 9/24/2019

Unequal Profession: Race & Gender in Legal Academia Professor Meera E Deo, JD, PhD Director, Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) Visiting Professor, UC Davis School of Law (2018-2020) Professor of Law, TJSL Professor Meera E Deo will discuss her book, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford University Press, 2019). The book draws from her landmark Diversity in Legal Academia (DLA) project, the first formal empirical study to investigate raceXgender challenges and opportunities facing law professors from diverse backgrounds around the US. DLA data not only expose ongoing biases, but also reveal individual strategies and structural solutions to maximize success. Professor Deo’s findings of intersectional bias are alarming. Classroom confrontations and biases in course evaluations have devastating effects on tenure and promotion. Colleagues who mansplain, hepeat, and silence marginalized faculty contribute to the higher rate of attrition for female professors of color. The data reveal interesting parallels between hiring and leadership for women of color faculty, as many do not pursue faculty or administrative positions primarily because they are told (directly or indirectly) that they do not belong. These experiences of exclusion and marginalization also parallel those of traditionally underrepresented students. Unequal Profession outlines individual strategies for success that worked for many study participants and can be adapted for others. Necessary structural solutions—from thinking “outside the box” to purposefully working against implicit bias—are also emphasized in the book.